April 27, 2010

Learn More About Generics for Heart Disease Medications

Posted in Heart disease tips, Helpful Heart Links, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:03 am by keepyourhearthealthy

In the book What To Do When You Have Heart Disease, a medication list is included at the back to help people decode their medicines.  Medicines go by 2 names: a brand name and a generic name.  Generics are cheaper but usually a slightly lower quality.  When you get your prescriptions you could end up with either type…even if your doctor wrote for only brand name medicines! Sometimes the pharmacy automatically switches to a generic in order to save you money.

Keep in mind that not all drugs are available to purchase as a generic.  Brand names are under an exclusive patent for up to 20 years after the initial filing for the patent.  Some pharmaceutical companies are even able to extend their patent and prevent generics from being produced.  For example, even though every drug has a generic NAME, the generic pills are not yet available for purchase in the U.S. for Lipitor or Plavix.  Their patents have not yet expired in our country so heart patients have no choice but to buy only the brand name.

So, how do you know what you are taking when there are several different names that could be listed on your bottle?  Ask your doctor or check out What To Do When You Have Heart Disease!


April 9, 2010

Cozaar is First ARB to go Generic!!

Posted in Heart Disease in the News, Heart disease tips tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:44 pm by keepyourhearthealthy

There is some new and wonderful news for heart patients on ARBs (Angiotensin Receptor Blockers).  The medication Cozaar is now available as a cheap generic!  This is a big deal because previously it cost a lot of money to buy ARBs.  These medicines work through the kidneys to lower blood pressure but are also shown in studies to help treat heart disease and sometimes heart failure.  Other medicines in the same class include: Avapro, Diovan, Atacand, Benicar, and Micardis.  If you are taking any of these medicines and would like to pay a cheaper price, then talk to your doctor about switching over to the new generic for Cozaar (aka losartan).  I have already called my local pharmacy and they received a shipment of generic losartan/HCTZ (Hyzaar) yesterday.  By next week they should be selling it for a significantly lower price than the brand name.  According to the Prescriber’s Letter, “The generics will cost about 70% less than Cozaar’s current price once MULTIPLE generics are out…either in April or later this year.”  Call your local pharmacy to find out when they will have the generic available in your area.